Ruth Maclennan is an artist working primarily in video. She combines a rigorous and experimental interrogation of the possibilities and power of moving images in the world today, with a search for the underlying meanings revealed by images. For example for her collaborative art project Polytechnical Institute for the Study of the Expanding Field of Radical Urban Life she created a ‘promenade performance’ video in the streets of London (Dialogue #5 (It’s not your problem), and a twelve hour live web-streamed video performance (Hide). In her films, Maclennan often uses performance and dialogue to explore the collision of different desires and points of view of a place and situation.
In 2004-05 she undertook a residency at London School of Economics during which she explored possibilities for representing the mind, and the scientific, aesthetic and cultural implications of these representations. Here again, there is the possibility of discovery, but also of loss.
In 2010 Film and Video Umbrella commissioned Ruth Maclennan to make ‘Anarcadia’, a work that continues her exploration of individuals’ search for meaning and their own identity, within the context of wider social, physical, and historical upheaval. The film centres on the passage of two unnamed protagonists through an unnamed vast, deserted landscape; each is searching for something, for a hidden truth or something even more elusive.
Maclennan’s work has been widely exhibited, notably at Cornerhouse, Manchester in Interspecies, curated by the Arts Catalyst and in Central Asian Project; at Space, and at Wellcome Collection, and the ICA, London; at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne; New York Underground Film Festival; Kunsthalle, Vienna, and Kunstverein Munich.